A PRESTIGIOUS theatre has called for urgent public support to save it from going out of business after the coronavirus lockdown hit its trade.

The theatre, which has played host to famous names including the likes of Errol Flynn, Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland, Leslie Nielsen, Charlton Heston, Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, saw its income disappear overnight when the lockdown began.

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Only one percent of Malvern Theatres’ funding comes from public money - with the theatre dependent on ticket sales to keep operating.

With no clear path towards reopening yet apparent, the management of Malvern Theatres has decided to launch a fund-raising appeal to stay in business.

Chief executive Nic Lloyd called on the people of Malvern to come together and help save their theatre.

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He said: “The vital role Malvern Theatres plays in our community has never been clearer and we are appealing for help from our audiences, friends and neighbours to help ensure that we can continue to bring life-enhancing culture to the town.

“The loss of Malvern Theatres would be devastating, not just to our loyal visitors, but also to our local community and economy. To avoid this fate, we must act now and work quickly to ensure that we are ready to reopen when allowed.

“As we emerge from this pandemic, Malvern Theatres is poised to play a crucial role in helping to bring our community back together.”

Open 364 days of the year, Malvern Theatres welcomes 300,000 ticket holders annually.

It also has an active creative learning department, which develops talent through its youth theatre programme, as well as offers weekly classes, such as dance for the over 55s and creative arts for those with learning disabilities.

To support the appeal, please visit malvern-theatres.co.uk/support-us